Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Vodka & Handcuffs (Mary’s Boys #2) by Brandon Witt

Mary’s Boys #2
Novella / 112 Pages
Release Date: April 26, 2017
Publisher: Dreamspinner

The blurb

Vahin Arora, Hamburger Mary’s sexy bartender, plays the flirtatious role so well even his closest friends—his chosen family at Mary’s—don’t realize Vahin hasn’t had a hookup in months. Then Tall, Dark, and Handsome steps through the door, and Vahin’s libido races back to life.

Being a black cop on the Denver police force is no easy job—Marlon Barton can’t imagine adding being gay to the equation. And while Marlon loves his work as an officer, his life has taken a turn for the hellish because of his new partner, the nephew of a senator.

Fleeing his partner’s company one night, Marlon stumbles into Mary’s for the first time… and wakes up with a hangover in the bartender’s bed. The one-night stand heats up into a budding romance, but not without stress as Marlon’s partner’s actions threaten Vahin’s livelihood and Marlon’s future on the force. Can Vahin and Marlon face the challenges and hold on to the love, friendship, and family they’ve found?

My thoughts

Vahin and Marlon—give me a moment while I sigh and smile. I fell so very hard for these two men. They are far from perfect which made them all the more human and loveable in my eyes.

In fact, this whole story felt real to me. The issues Marlon and Vahin have to deal with aren’t a figment of the author’s imagination. Brandon Witt didn’t have to exaggerate in order to provide drama in their lives. It breaks my heart that people face this sort of prejudice every day of the week and that, unfortunately, the situation appears to be getting worse these days. Being a black cop isn’t easy. Add being gay to the equation and Marlon pretty much risks becoming an outcast in the job he loves. And it isn’t any easier for Vahin. Having already been rejected by his birth family when he came out as gay, he now suddenly finds himself in a society where his cultural background is viewed with suspicion.

Kudos to Brandon Witt for writing a story dealing with all those issues, without this book ever turning heavy or preachy. But the opposite is true too; he never diminishes the problems Marlon and Vahin encounter and the resolution to a very sticky situation was both realistic and perfect. In fact, it is safe to say that for me the balance between issues, angst, and love-story was just about perfect. Not to mention that Vahin and Marlon and rather hot when they get together and naked.

But, as much as I loved Marlon and Vahin in this book and Darwin and Cody in Nachos & Hash, it is the whole extended community of Hamburger Mary’s that has stolen my heart. The bonds between them and the loyalty that ties them together is what gives these story the ultimate feel-good vibe. I’m well and truly hooked and can’t wait for my next opportunity to visit Mary’s Boys.

Related review: Nachos & Hash

Images purchased through 123 RF

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